Denver, Colo. (April 29, 2021) — America’s favorite sports pastime of baseball has played an important role in history. El Pueblo History Museum’s new, free bilingual exhibition, ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas, will tell baseball stories through a new lens to reveal the history and culture of Latinos and their impact on American culture and society.
Full of local history from Pueblo and other parts of Colorado, the exhibition will be on view in the free Community Gallery at History Colorado’s El Pueblo History Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, from May 8 through August 1, 2021.
The exhibition captures the excitement of the game, from community baseball teams to the Major League, highlighting how baseball can bring people together regardless of race, class, and gender. It will feature reproductions of historic and personal photographs, colorful graphic elements, and a short bilingual video produced by “La Vida Baseball.” Colorado contributions include photographs from the Beet Leagues of northern Colorado, La Gente Sports and the Brown Bombers from Pueblo, and CF&I League images from southern Colorado coal mining communities.
Throughout the 20th century in the United States and Latin America, baseball provided a path for a better future. Workers in agriculture and industry in the United States used baseball to make ends meet and as a socially acceptable space to find community and organize for rights and justice. The game of baseball has had a historic role in Latino communities in Colorado and across the nation and visitors to ¡Pleibol! will soon learn how Latinos impacted the game.
¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas has been made possible through close collaborations with over 30 partners in 14 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico to help bring visibility to Latino community histories through baseball. Smithsonian curators collaborated with partners and local communities across the country to document and preserve baseball stories at the heart of Latino communities. The traveling exhibition is touring 15 cities through 2025.
Sponsors and Credits ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas is organized by the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and received support from the Cordoba Corporation and Linda Alvarado, and federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Image credits: Roberto Clemente working off-season with kids in Carolina, Puerto Rico, 1962, Courtesy of The Clemente Museum; Kansas City Lady Aztecas softball team, Kansas City, Kansas, 1939, Courtesy of Rose Arroyo in memory of Mary Montes; Boys baseball team, Greeley Colorado, 1951, Courtesy of the Gabriel and Jody Lopez Collection.
About El Pueblo History Museum
El Pueblo History Museum is located at 301 N. Union Avenue in the heart of historic downtown Pueblo. The museum stands on the site of the original El Pueblo trading post, constructed in 1842, and current exhibits include Borderlands of Southern Colorado, the award-winning Children of Ludlow, and the Museum of Memory. El Pueblo History Museum is a museum of History Colorado. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.ElPuebloHistoryMuseum.org or call 719-583-0453.
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 142-year-old institution that operates Colorado’s oldest museum, nine additional museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. The SHF currently administers more than 280 grants across Colorado, of which more that 70% are allocated in rural areas. The History Colorado Center is the nation’s first state history museum to display a monument toppled last summer with new, inclusive interpretation.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and nine other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.
About the Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Smithsonian Affiliations are critical national outreach units at the Smithsonian Institution. For more than 65 years, SITES has been connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history. Smithsonian Affiliations establishes and maintains the Smithsonian’s long-term partnerships with museums, educational organizations, and cultural institutions in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Panama. SITES and Affiliations share the Smithsonian's vast resources with millions of people outside Washington, D.C. Visit sites.si.edu and affiliations.si.edu/ for more information.
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum's building is currently closed but its online exhibits and learning resources can be accessed at http://americanhistory.si.edu.